The WiR: European Commission Give Fox’s Sky Takeover Green Light, YouTube TV Officially Launches, Facebook ‘Refused’ to Remove Child Porn and Terror Content After Warning


In this week’s Week in Review: European Commission give Fox’s Sky takeover green light, mobile video drives UK digital ad spend over £10 Billion, Facebook ‘refused’ to remove child porn and terror content after warning. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

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European Commission Give Fox’s Sky Takeover Green Light
The 21st Century Fox takeover of pay TV giant Sky is one step closer after the European Commission gave the £11.7 billion deal the go-ahead. The approval is unconditional under EU Merger Regulation, with the EC saying the move posed “no competition concerns”. The EC’s investigation of the competition implications found that the deal would only see a “limited increase” in Sky’s market share in terms of content acquisition and wholesale supply of TV channels. Considering whether the deal would lead Sky to cease buying from other studios and distributors the EC ruled this was “unlikely as it would reduce the quality of Sky’s product offering”, and that existing regulation in the UK, Austria and Germany meant the ability to shut out rivals from accessing the Sky platform was “significantly mitigated”.

YouTube TV Launches with Recording Feature but Unskippable Ads
YouTube TV has launched with over 50 live channels and unlimited DVR-like cloud recording. But, in deference to YouTube’s cable network partners, if a show is available elsewhere on-demand then viewers won’t be able to skip ads even if they have recorded the episode on DVR. YouTube TV has so far launched only within certain markets but will continue to expand into other areas.

Facebook ‘Refused’ to Remove Child Porn and Terror Content After Warning
Facebook failed to delete dozens of images and videos flagged to moderators, including a Islamic State beheading, and a video of a sexual assault on a child, The Times report. The social media giant risks criminal prosecution in the UK, after moderators for the site said that the content did not breach its “community standards”, so reportedly refused to remove the potentially illegal content. Facebook told the Times that it has removed the posts and apologised that the content appeared. The article is one of a series of front page stories The Times has run featuring large US tech platforms in recent weeks. 

The Week in Publishing

YouTube Blocks Ads From Channels With Fewer Than 10,000 Views
YouTube has announced that it will no longer serve ads on YPP videos until the channel reaches 10,000 lifetime views. The move will allow the platform to “determine the validity” of a channel before it is monetised. YouTube said that by upping the threshold required to join its YouTube Partner Programme, it is helping to protect creators. YouTube will now review a content creator’s activity after their channel reaches 10,000 views and “if everything looks good” will start serving ads against their content.

Facebook Say Monthly Advertisers Have Topped Five Million
More than five million businesses advertise on Facebook each month, Reuters reports. The social network is continually updating its suite of ad services to try to draw advertising from more small businesses, and so demonstrate that it still has room for growth. The strategy is  appears to be working as Facebook has added one million monthly advertisers in the  seven months since September 2016.

Snap Adds In-Store Traffic Attribution
Snap is launching a new location-based product that lets brick-and-mortar brands measure how well their Snapchat campaigns drive in-store traffic, The Wall Street Journal report. The new “Snap to Store” metric looks at the number of people who go to a store within one week of seeing one of Snap’s vertical-oriented mobile ads. Snap is launching a dashboard advertisers can use to compare the whereabouts of people who see an ad against those who don’t, and which also calculates incremental visitors and visitation as well as demographic information like age, gender and region.

Twitter Expands Third-Party Partnerships for Video Ad Viewability and Audience Verification
Twitter has announced partnerships with Moat and Integral Ad Science, expanding its third-party measurement as it aims to reassure marketers. The partnerships will enable marketers to see if the video ads they run on Twitter are viewable by humans, and will also allow them to compare video ad viewability and attention metrics across channels. The platform is also expanding its relationship with Nielsen and ComScore to allow marketers to measure whether their Twitter ads were delivered to the audience they intended to reach.

Amazon Cashes in on YouTube Stars
Amazon has unveiled its latest venture, an “influencers programme” that allows YouTube and Instagram stars to setup Amazon-branded shops, The Times reports. How many “influencers” actually sign up remains to be seen, but Amazon’s attempt to tap into this industry of bedroom empires is a sign of their growing clout, born of a perceived genuineness that appeals to people in a way glossy ad campaigns do not.

British Vogue Appoints Edward Enninful as Editor
Edward Enninful has been confirmed as the new editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse announced the appointment, hailing Enninful as “supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue”. The Ghanaian-born former model and stylist will take over from Alexandra Shulman in August.

Mic Raises $21 Million for Video Expansion
Mic has raised US$21 million in Series C funding to support its video output expansion. Mic will invest the cash in its live video and subscription video-on-demand offerings, as well as to grow its new channel brands. Mic has said it plans to hire about 35 more people this year for the new properties.

Majority of Video Service Providers Have Android on their Tech Roadmap
The majority of video service providers have either Android TV or Android Open Source Project on their technology roadmaps, Ovum reports. 72 per cent are considering Android implementations as part of their short, medium, or longer-term STB strategies. More than two-thirds of service providers surveyed expect Android to be the market-leading TV platform by 2025.

German Ad Revenue Expected to Fall for YouTube and Google
When asked whether German brands would react to ongoing ad controversy by cutting their Google ad spending budgets 64 per cent of digital marketing decision-makers polled in the country said yes, at least until the current problems are solved, according to Agentur Frau Wenk+++. Just 20 per cent of survey respondents said they expected that companies would keep the same budget allocation for Google that they had before the scandal erupted.

Global VR Industry Revenues to Reach $7.2 Billion
Total virtual reality revenues will reach $7.2 billion globally by the end of 2017, Greenlight Insights forecast. Of that figure, head-mounted displays (HMDs) will account for $4.7 billion. The company reports that the VR industry will grow into a major global marketplace by 2021, reaching $74.8 billion in global revenues. Growth will be driven in part by the increased spending in several enterprise sectors and in location-based entertainment (LBE) industry.

The Week in TV

Vivendi CEO Tops Telecom Italia Board Nominee List
Vivendi has placed its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CFO Hervé Philippe and general counsel Frédéric Crépin at the top of its list of candidates for Telecom Italia’s new board. Conventionally the top name on the list is reserved for the proposed chairman of the company, with De Puyfontaine widely expected to take that role. Vivendi has reportedly filed a pre-emptive notification with the European Commission that it could take ‘de facto’ control of Telecom Italia if its board nomination are accepted.

TVPlayer Launches on Xbox
UK online TV provider TVPlayer has made its service available for download on Xbox One and Xbox One S game consoles. Xbox users will have access to over 100 live and on-demand TV channels on a contract-free basis within the TVPlayer app.

Altice Files IPO for US Arm
Altice has filed an IPO registration for its US arm with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have yet to be determined. Reports have suggested that the IPO could value the company at between 25-30 billion dollars and expect raise around two billion.

Mediapro EBITDA Increases 25 Per Cent in 2016, Plans Digital Investment for 2017
Mediapro has announced a 25 percent increase in its gross operating profit (EBITDA), which reached 162 million Euros for 2016. The increase was slightly below initial forecasts but the company still hailed 2016 as the best year of its history. Mediapro said it will target a 2017 EBITDA of over 200 million Euros. The company intends to invest further in the digital arena, particular eSports, and will also invest in content production for the international market, in 4K UHD broadcasting and in expanding its presence in America and Asia.

Doubling-Up and Bundling are the New Drivers of TV as Consumers Spend More Than Ever Before
The average European and North American consumer is spending more than ever before on TV services by combining pay TV, VOD and SVOD, Ampere Analysis report. In North America average yearly subscription television spend increased to $311 in 2016. In Western Europe the average consumer spend on subscription television increased to $95 per year. The research suggests that consumers in the regions are building their own TV bundles from all the options available, rather than deserting pay TV operators through cord cutting.

Multiscreen TV Subs Continue to Grow Despite US Decline
Global multiscreen TV service providers grew their subscriber bases by 4.03 million new homes in the fourth quarter of 2016, Informitv report. Whilst leading US operators posted losses of about 50,000 overall, the Europe, Middle East and Africa region saw net gains of 1.72 million. The Asia-Pacific region made the biggest gains overall, up by 2.36 million, with the top 10 services gaining 1.80 million subscribers.

Pay TV Passes the Five Million Mark in MENA Region
The pay TV market in the Middle East and North Africa saw record growth in 2016, IHS Markit report. Pay TV households in the region topped five million for the first time, growing 8 percent year-on-year. The MENA online video market grew 51 per cent year-on-year in 2016, generating US$500 million in revenues, of which advertising accounted for 65 per cent.

Eastern Europe to Lose 1m Pay-TV Subscriptions
Eastern European countries are forecast to shed one million pay-TV subscribers by 2022, Digital TV Research report. Migration married with low birth rates are cited as drivers of the decline. Pay-TV revenues in Eastern Europe are forecast to peak at $6.11 billion in 2017 before settling at the $6 billion mark. Analogue cable will contribute $1 billion to the 2017 total, falling to $184 million in 2022.

The Week in Ad Tech

MRC Accredits Nielsen’s Viewable GRP Digital Ad Ratings
Nielsen reports it has received accreditation from the Media Rating Council for its viewability integrations with Integral Ad Science and Moat for desktop display and video viewable GRP estimates in Digital Ad Ratings for age and sex demographics. It says it is the first company to receive MRC accreditation for viewability providers across display and video ads.

Blis and TVTY Partner to Launch Targeted Ads Triggered by Social Media Trends
Blis and TVTY have announced a partnership to merge location-based advertising and moment marketing to enable brands to launch digital campaigns that react to real-time events. The service aims to help advertisers to run hyper-targeted campaigns when certain keywords or phrases are trending on social media.

Brightcove Launches Live Video Platform
Brightcove has launched its live video platform, Brightcove Live, in response to “explosive consumer demand” for live streaming of events and channels across all screens. The platform will offer scalable live streaming with server-side ad insertion, cloud DVR, content encryption, on-the-fly clipping, and VOD asset creation, according to Brightcove.

The Week for Agencies

Big Brand CFOs Plan to Invest in Marketing Over the Next 12 Months
Finance leaders will invest in marketing to help their businesses navigate the unpredictable path ahead, according to American Express and Institutional Investor. Their survey of senior finance executives at major brands found that 31 per cent plan to increase their investment in advertising, marketing and PR over the next 12 months, while only 12 per cent of CFOs questioned said they planned to cut their investment. Ensuring their organisation remains competitive is cited as the biggest business priority, and 92 per cent of CFOs are increasing spending to ensure this happens.

Grand Visual Launches Independent Ad Tech Business Qdot
Grand Visual has announced that it is consolidating their ad-serving systems to launch an new independent ad tech company, Qdot. Qdot clients include outdoor media buyers such as Kinetic, Talon and Rapport, while Qdot tech has been used in out-of-home campaigns for Google, Coca-Cola and Amazon.

Unilever Plans U-Studio Expansion in Bid for Two Billion Euro Efficiency Savings
Unilever is to expand branded content arm U-Studio as part of its efforts to save two billion Euros a year, Campaign report. The measure is part of Unilever’s plan to appease shareholders and boost its share price after the failed £115 billion takeover bid from Kraft Heinz. The move follows Unilever’s announcement that it will halve the number of agencies it works with, and cut its advertising by 30 per cent.

Partnerships of the Week

NBCU Strikes Deal With Mobile Ad Tech Kargo
NBCUniversal have announced their partnership with Kargo. The companies say that they can offer more than 80 “premium publisher properties” via the web and apps to more than 170 million mobile users. The partnership effort will include integrations by accredited third-party measurement providers, including Moat, IAS, Nielsen, comScore and others to validate performance.

Trinity Mirror Signs Global Deal with Native Advertising Platform
Trinity Mirror has signed a global deal with Adyoulike, a native ad tech platform that will now power native in-feed advertising units across the Daily Mirror and all Trinity Mirror regional media titles.

Blink Now Taps Ooyala For OTT Business
Ooyala has announced that it is now powering the entire video business of Philippine OTT provider Blink Now. With Ooyala, Blink Now has engaged Ooyala across three separate OTT properties, powering ad operations, video delivery, data-driven insights and live streaming.

Hires of the Week

Geometry Global Promotes Todd and Hires Whelan
Geometry Global has promoted UK Chief Executive Sarah Todd to the role of Global Client Leader and Head of Shopper Marketing EMEA. The company have brought in M&C Saatchi’s Shopper Marketing Chief Michelle Whelan as her replacement.

News Corp Make Angelo Chief of Digital Advertising Solutions
News Corp has made Jesse Angelo Chief of Digital Advertising Solutions, where he will oversee a new advertising platform. Angelo will help coordinate the platform’s development and launch, whilst continuing in his role as Chief Executive and Publisher of the New York Post.

Simulmedia Adds Harold Morgenstern and Jerry Canning
Simulmedia have announced that Harold Morgenstern and Jerry Canning have joined the company’s growing sales force. Morgenstern will serve as General Manager, Agency Development & Strategic Partnerships, and joins from Media Pro Consultants, LLC. Canning will serve as Vice President of Sales, and joins Simulmedia from Facebook.

This Week on VAN

Mobile Video is Driving Growth in UK Online Ad Budgets, read more on VAN

Nilelsen Launch Out-of-Home TV Viewing Service with ESPN as First Client, read more on VAN

TV Rise Returns to San Sebastian, June 6th to 8th, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: All Blacks: Tackle The Risk, AIG Japan, TBWA Hakuhodo

The All Blacks violently tackle random people across the city, but do stick with it, these guys have not been taking branding tips from the United Airline playbook. 


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